The project entitled “Unveiling the molecular determinants of aging to design new therapeutics (MAGNET)” has now successfully concluded at the International Clinical Research Center (ICRC) in Brno. Its main focus was research of selected ageing-associated diseases, understanding their mechanisms and finding potential targets for their treatment. The project, which gained great support from the European funds, attracted to Brno a number of both junior and established researchers, headed by Dr. Manlio Vinciguerra.

The main research objectives of the project consisted in unveiling the role of epigenetics, mechanosensors, immune response, intracellular transport, and mitochondrial dysfunction in the pathogenesis of aging-associated diseases. The specific problems targeted by the research activities were liver diseases such as hepatocellular carcinoma, innate immunity defects, cardiovascular and neurodegenerative pathologies.

The project was awarded over 177,5 mil. CZK in 2016 by the Ministry for Education, Youth and Sports of the Czech Republic (MŠMT). Funded through the Operational programme Research, Development and Education (in Czech OP VVV), it aimed at attracting a renowned international scientist, Dr. Manlio Vinciguerra, to establish his research group at the ICRC. At the time Dr. Vinciguerra was a Senior Scientist working at the University College London (UCL), London United Kingdom.

“The funding from the MŠMT through the OP VVV program helped us to significantly advance the understanding of aging-associated pathologies, which represent a true burden to the society” says Manlio Vinciguerra, the coordinator of the project. “It gave me the chance to join a very vibrant scientific environment at the ICRC and to establish my research group. I am extremely thankful for this opportunity” he continues.

The team employed other Principal Investigators of the ICRC, i.e. Irena Koutná, Giancarlo Forte, Gorazd Bernard Stokin, Jan Frič and Jaeyoung Shin; and attracted promising young researchers and students of more than 10 nationalities. Thanks to the available funds, we were also able to send our Ph.D. students for internships abroad.

“The international nature of the research team created thanks to the OP VVV funding was really a game changer. It created a lively and varied environment which helped the cross-contamination of scientific ideas. The result of this process has been excellent science.” comments Giancarlo Forte, who is also the Head of the Center for Translational Medicine at the ICRC, where the research was performed.

Focused on excellent and clinically meaningful research, the project led to disclose the role of histone protein macroH2A1 as a determinant of liver disease progression and of hepatocellular carcinoma aggressiveness, making it a potential target for future treatments. Moreover, the project allowed for the identification of novel predictive markers for heart failure, the proteins Yes Associate Protein (YAP) and heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein C (hnRNPC), together with providing the first multiscale map of the human failing heart. Additionally, thanks to the financial support of MAGNET project, scientists at the ICRC described how chronic inflammatory signalling affect the extracellular matrix and also the phenotype of immune cells.

“A number of young and established researchers participated in this very successful project. It was an honour for our institution to host it. The scientific objectives reached are truly remarkable” stress Prof. Irena Rektorová, the Head of ICRC.

These results were published in prestigious peer-reviewed international journals, like Hepatology, Science Translational Medicine, Nature Communications, Circulation Research, EMBO Molecular Medicine, Theranostics, iScience, GeroScience, Lancet Health Longevity, Acta Neuropathologica Communications and others. In terms of numbers, there were more than 100 publications affiliated to the project, with 50 % of them in Q1 journals. First quartile representing the best journals according to series of metrics.

“The project entailed the use of tissues and cells harvested from patients hospitalised at the premises of St. Anne’s University Hospital Brno (FNUSA), so that the results have a concrete translational potential” says Ing. Vlastimil Vajdak, director of FNUSA hospital.

MAGNET project also helped to establish the Cell and Tissue Engineering Facility (CTEF) at the ICRC, a unit endowed with ISO 9001 certification (quality management system) and GMP manufacture permit which manufactures advanced therapy medicinal products (ATMPs) including cell therapy and tissue engineered products.

The funding also allowed establishing or consolidating prestigious international collaborations with UCL (UK), the European Institute for Systems Biology and Medicine (EISBM, France), the University of Barcelona (Spain), the University of Geneva (Switzerland), the University of Southern California (USA), the University of Porto (Portugal), the University of Perugia (Italy).

Supported by the European Regional Development Fund – Project MAGNET
(No. CZ.02.1.01/0.0/0.0/15_003/0000492).

 

Heart failure is the leading cause of death worldwide. Scientists at the International Clinical Research Centre (ICRC) in Brno have identified a potential target for the treatment of heart disease that is related to the location and function of a protein called hnRNPC. They have now published their findings in the prestigious journal Science Translational Medicine, opening up the possibility of finding new treatments.

Cardiac diseases are accompanied by intense modifications of the architecture of the heart muscle tissue, a process which is defined as negative remodeling. During this process, a scar is formed within the muscle which impairs its contractile function and eventually leads to the failure of the organ in the long run.

Despite the advances in therapies and prevention, heart failure remains the leading cause of mortality worldwide. This pandemic accounts for over 1.8 million deaths every year, which means more than one in three deaths in the world are caused by heart failure.

For many years, scientists have known that the progression of heart failure is associated with the modification of the internal functioning of the cardiac cells, including those processes controlling the maturation of RNA molecules. These processes are important for the production of the structural proteins, which account for the ability of cardiac cells to produce force, contract and make the heart beat. Altered RNA metabolism in the diseased heart is considered largely responsible for the disease.

The research group led by Dr. Giancarlo Forte at the International Clinical Research Center (ICRC) of St. Anne’s University Hospital Brno and Faculty of Medicine, Masaryk University, finally identified how the formation of the scar in the heart leads to altered RNA metabolism by affecting the localization and function of a protein named hnRNPC. These results might pave the way to the design of new treatments based on the interference with the displacement of the protein.

The research, which is the subject of a publication on the leading international journal Science Translational Medicine, started in 2015 and was conducted mostly on human patient samples thanks to the decisive collaboration of the Center of Cardiovascular and Transplant Surgery (Centrum kardiovaskulární a transplantační chirurgie, CKTCH) Brno. Other collaborators of the study include researchers from Central European Institute of Technology (CEITEC) in Brno, as well as from the University of Melbourne (Australia), King’s College, Imperial College London and the University of Surrey (UK).

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Microscopic images of tissue from a healthy (left) and diseased (right) human heart. The muscle tissue is shown in red and the appearance of the scar in the diseased heart is shown in blue.

The research was generously supported by the European Regional Development Fund – Projects ENOCH (No. CZ.02.1.01/0.0/0.0/16_019/0000868) and MAGNET (No. CZ.02.1.01/0.0/0.0/15_003/0000492), European Union Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Program NANOSUPREMI (No. 690901) and the Czech Science Foundation.

Reference:
Martino F, Mysore Varadajan N, Perestrelo AR, Hejret V, Durikova H, Vukic D, Horvath V, Cavalieri F, Caruso F, Albihlal WS, Gerber AP, O’Connell MA, Vanacova S, Pagliari S, Forte G.
The mechanical regulation of RNA binding protein hnRNPC in the failing heart. Sci Transl Med (2022) https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/scitranslmed.abo5715.

Nature cannot do without enzymes – proteins that speed up chemical reactions in all living organisms. For example, we owe our beer and wine to enzymes; we wouldn’t enjoy hard cheeses and, in principle, wouldn’t do laundry without them. But people also use enzymes in biomedicine, industry, and environmental protection. Unfortunately, relatively few enzymes perform optimally, so scientists have been working for decades on searching for more efficient enzymes. In doing so, they keep running into a fundamental question: Is it better to modify existing enzymes through protein engineering or to search for new ones in nature’s vast diversity?

Researchers from the Loschmidt Laboratories at RECETOX, Faculty of Science, Masaryk University and the International Clinical Research Center (ICRC), in collaboration with colleagues from ETH Zurich and the University of Greifswald, decided to go down the route of searching for new enzymes. They published the results of their six-year research project in the international prestigious journal Chem Catalysis. Their aim was to find more efficient variants of an enzyme family that can degrade halogenated hydrocarbons polluting the environment. The search began in genomic databases, which currently contain hundreds of millions of gene sequences that encode previously unknown proteins. Using the in-house web tool EnzymeMiner, they were able to select the most promising candidates from this plethora of sequences. “You could compare it to finding needles in a haystack. With EnzymeMiner we can distinguish the needle from the straw very well. However, in the next step we need to find out if the selected needles are sharp enough – this means to experimentally verify that the selected enzymes are fast enough,” said Michal Vašina, the first author of the study.

Therefore, the researchers then prepared these selected candidates in the laboratory and studied their properties using two microfluidic platforms – modern technologies that can handle miniature sample volumes and save time. The first platform, MicroPEX, was used by the researchers to systematically characterize enzymatic reaction rates, while the second platform, KinMAP, gave them insight into the actual mechanism of enzymatic reactions. “The savings in time and money are tremendous. Thanks to this method, we can measure the same amount of data in a single week that would take months to obtain with conventional technologies,” said the microfluidic expert Zbyněk Prokop.

Coming back to the question from the beginning of the article, whether it is better to discover or engineer new enzymes, this scientific study gives a clear answer. Historically, the first enzymes degrading halogenated hydrocarbons were identified more than 30 years ago, while protein engineering has been used for their modification for 25 years. During this time, the properties of twenty-five discovered and more than one hundred modified enzyme variants have been described. When comparing the data obtained, the researchers found that the newly obtained enzymes had better properties than any previously discovered or modified enzyme from the same family.

So how to get more efficient enzymes? Based on their experience, the scientists in the Loschmidt Laboratories answer: “Let’s not underestimate nature. Thanks to its diversity, it has an arsenal of effective enzymes just waiting to be discovered!”

Publication:

https://doi.org/10.1016/j.checat.2022.09.011

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The synergy of advanced bioinformatics and microfluidics helps to find efficient enzymes for recy-cling chemical synthesis intermediates, degrading environmental pollutants, or preparing active pharmaceutical ingredients.

Preventing diabetes or understanding the causes of Alzheimer’s disease – these are also topics supported by the Molecular, Cellular and Clinical Approach to Healthy Ageing (ENOCH) project, whose investigators met in Brno at the end of September. More than a hundred representatives from five top Moravian research centres evaluated the achievements of ENOCH so far. The project has succeeded in creating a unique space for mutual cooperation of experts in the field and the application of the qualities of each of the participating workplaces. The knowledge gained is a further step on the road to active and healthy ageing.

The Continental Hotel in Brno hosted the ENOCH (MolEcular, cellular and cliNical apprOaCH to healthy aging) project meeting on 29-30 September 2022. Led by the International Clinical Research Centre (ICRC) in Brno, the platform includes partners from Palacký University in Olomouc, Masaryk Cancer Institute, University of Ostrava and Olomouc University Hospital. The project was born in 2018 with the idea of coordinating research centres dedicated to topics related to population ageing.

As Professor Irena Rektorová, Head of the ICRC, reminded us in her introduction, “The goal is not immortal life, but a healthy old age, i.e. to age actively and healthily.” The development of new preventive, diagnostic and therapeutic solutions for age-related disorders should contribute to this. “ENOCH purposefully unifies current research on healthy ageing and makes full use of its potential to share know-how, experts and resources across the region. It is the networking of different institutions that is crucial to ENOCH’s contribution, as each of the researchers has unique practices and expertise to offer the field”, adds project coordinator, Dr. Gorazd B. Stokin of the ICRC.

Specifically, the research teams are studying, for example, dementia, cancer, chronic inflammation and heart disease. These disorders affect a large part of the population in advanced age and therefore affect not only the elderly but also their families. The consequences are also reflected in the healthcare system and the budget for health and social services.

The results are coming out both in the field of basic research, i.e. in laboratories, and in medical practice. For example, the Kardiovize team at the ICRC, with the support of the ENOCH project, has designed a diabetes prevention programme. Based on measurements of the health status of the local population, the researchers have put together a set of effective measures in the form of a preventive lifestyle programme, which takes place regularly at the St. Anne’s University Hospital in Brno and offers participants training in a lifestyle that suits them while supporting their long-term health.

After two years of metal restrictions, the annual meeting of the ENOCH project was once again held in full attendance. It offered a discussion on the progress of the project implementation, both in terms of the fulfilment of the binding indicators and benchmarks, and in particular on the research activities carried out by the different teams. The Steering Committee also met and positively evaluated the performance and results of the project so far and also focused on the commitments and plans for its subsequent sustainability. The programme also offered presentations by three guests. Dr. Robert Zorec from the University of Ljubljana addressed the topic “Noradrenergic hypotheses of cognitive decline and astroglia”. Dr. GIampiero Leanza from the University of Catania followed with an online presentation on “Noradrenaline and the regulation of spatial memory”. The trio was rounded off by Dr Kenneth Moya from the Department of Biology, École Normale Supérieure, Paris with “Neuroprotective action of the homeoprotein Engrailed 1 and motoneuron physiology”.

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The ENOCH project (Molecular, Cellular and Clinical Approach to Healthy Ageing, CZ.02.1.01/0.0/0.0/16_019/0000868) is funded by the European Regional Development Fund. The implementation phase of the project ends in June 2023, when a five-year sustainability period will follow.

dedication

Scientists from several research teams at the International Clinical Research Centre (ICRC), a joint facility of the Masaryk University Faculty of Medicine and St. Anne’s University Hospital in Brno, focused on microbial infections and Alzheimer’s disease. The link between the two has been demonstrated in many studies, and the research focused on the frequency of the most common viral and bacterial pathogens in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients.

The paper, entitled “Increased occurrence of Treponema spp. and double-species infections in patients with Alzheimer’s disease,” was published in the scientific journal Science of The Total Environment (IF – 10.75).

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is an irreversible, progressive neurodegenerative pathology. It accounts for 60-80% of cases of dementia. Dementia is a general term encompassing memory loss and the gradual decline of other cognitive abilities, often severe enough to interfere with an individual’s daily life and independence. The origin of Alzheimer’s disease is not yet fully understood. The disease is characterised by a pathological cascade of protein clotting. One of these is amyloid, whose function is to protect the brain from infectious agents, i.e. viruses or bacteria. There are theories that the action of a particular virus or pathogen may cause this protein to clot more than is permissible and thus trigger the pathological cascade.

For the detection of five bacterial and five viral pathogens, a multiplex PCR assay kit has been developed in collaboration with BioVendor, where all of the aforementioned pathogens can be detected simultaneously. “Although the link between microbial infections and Alzheimer’s disease has been demonstrated in many studies, the contribution of pathogens to the onset of Alzheimer’s disease remains unclear,” said the first author of the paper, Dr Michal Nemergut from the Loschmidt Laboratories of the MU Faculty of Science and the ICRC. “Therefore, we investigated the frequency of the ten most frequently reported viral (HSV-1, EBV, HHV-6, HHV-7, CMV) and bacterial (Chlamydia pneumoniae, Helicobacter pylori, Borrelia burgdorferi, Porphyromonas gingivalis, Treponema spp.) pathogens in serum, cerebrospinal fluid and brain tissue of Alzheimer’s disease patients.”

Serum and liquor samples from 50 patients with Alzheimer’s disease and 53 control subjects without cognitive deficits were used. The samples and data were provided by the Czech Brain Aging study – a national aging study led by Kateřina Sheardová, MD, and Prof. Jakub Hort, MD. A significantly higher frequency of patients with Alzheimer’s disease who were positive for Treponema spp. was observed compared to controls (62.2% vs 30.3%). Furthermore, a significantly higher incidence of cases with two or more concurrent infections was confirmed in patients with Alzheimer’s disease compared to controls (24% vs 7.5%). The studied pathogens were detected with comparable frequency in serum and cerebrospinal fluid. In contrast, Borrelia burgdorferi, human herpesvirus 7 and human cytomegalovirus were not detected in any of the studied samples.

This study provides further evidence of an association between microbial infections and Alzheimer’s disease. “The results show that parallel analysis of multiple pathogens and detection of their occurrence from multiple different biological samples provides interesting additional information, and this methodology should be considered for future studies working with this hypothesis in the context of Alzheimer’s disease.” said Katerina Sheardová, MD.

Dr_Sheardova

The International Clinical Research Centre of St. Anne’s University Hospital in Brno was visited by Mgr. Helena Langšádlová, Minister of Science, Research and Innovation. During her visit, she learned not only about the history and current activities of the Centre, but also about future plans and visited the workplaces of several research teams.

At the FNUSA-ICRC she was welcomed by the director of the hospital Ing. Vlastimil Vajdák and the director of the centre, prof. MUDr. Irena Rektorová, Ph.D. In a short presentation, the Minister was presented, among other things, the NPO EXCELES project focused on research on neurodegenerative brain diseases, which also aims to create a national authority, the National Institute for Neurological Research (NINR). Eleven institutions from all over the country are cooperating in the project and the main beneficiary of the grant and coordinator is the St. Anne’s University Hospital in Brno.

The presentation was followed by a tour of the selected departments. Minister Langšádlová visited the laboratory of the Centre for Cell and Tissue Engineering, where she learned about the production of cell-based medicines, as well as the workplace and operating rooms of the Interventional Cardiac Electrophysiology team. “I was very pleased with the Minister’s visit and her keen interest in our research and the NPO’s neurology project,” said Director Rektorová.

Minister Langšádlová visited the researchers of the Centre for Translational Medicine in Biological Park Brno. The head of the CTM, researcher Giancarlo Forte, introduced her to the work of the teams dedicated to basic research using, for example, organoids, both theoretically and practically directly in the laboratories. “For me, visiting the Centre of Excellence is a confirmation that we are really competitive in science and research. My ambition is to support excellent research, cooperation between the individual science centres, but also their internationalisation,” added Minister Langšádlová.

Minister visit Minister visit

For the seventh time, the International conference Cannabis and Science will be held on Tuesday, 24 May at 9:00 a.m. at the Brno Observatory and Planetarium. The conference is held under the auspices of the Director of St. Anne’s University Hospital in Brno Ing. Vlastimil Vajdák and with the support of the Director of the International Clinical Research Centre of FNUSA Prof. Irena Rektorova.

Cannabis – a topic that still arouses emotions, especially due to the lack of information. Comprehensive information on research, cultivation, legislation or use in medical practice will be the main focus of the conference. Prominent foreign and Czech experts will present the results of their work, for example Prof. Mechoulam from Israel, who is now literally one of the legends of this field, not only thanks to the discovery of the THC molecule (tetra hydrocannabinol). “I am glad that after a break caused by the coronavirus pandemic we will meet again with doc. Lumír Hanuš, who has been researching cannabis for more than thirty years in Israel,” added Dr. Radovan Hřib, a pioneer of cannabis treatment from St. Anne’s University Hospital in Brno.

Prof. Šulcová, a recent winner of the Brno City Prize, as well as experts from Italy, Ireland and Germany will also speak at the conference. Probably the most important topic from a practical point of view will again be the legislative changes related to the cultivation of medical cannabis. “The paradox is precisely the legislative situation, where we have an amendment to the law, valid from 1 January 2022, but so far without an implementing decree. For this reason, even the hospital is waiting for rules on how to apply for a license that would allow commercial cultivation of medical cannabis. And thus also to use the experience that we are gaining in the field of research on cannabis cultivation so far in our experimental cultivation of medical cannabis, which opened last year,” added Dr. Václav Trojan, Head of the Cannabis Research Center FNUSA-ICRC.

The conference is also intended for university students and teachers and this year’s event will also remind us that J. G. Mendel, whose bicentenary we are celebrating this year, also worked with cannabis. The conference website can be found here:

Cannabis conference

On Tuesday, 24 May, the Kraví hora park in Brno will become a centre of awareness of the fight against stroke. In the Czech Republic, 6 thousand people die of stroke every year, regardless of age. Yet with early diagnosis and early first aid, the consequences of a stroke may not be so fatal. Awareness of stroke is generally low in our population, especially among children and teenagers. Therefore, the public health group, led by the International Clinical Research Centre of St. Anne’s University Hospital in Brno (FNUSA-ICRC), has for the fourth time relied on the FAST run as part of its awareness campaign and this year also on the presentation of a single by the well-known rapper Jakub Rafael alias MC Gey. The Brno-based artist composed and filmed the video “Corner of the mouth”, which introduces the issue of CMP to young people in a way that is understandable and close to them.

The fun programme for the public and schools will take place on Kraví hora from 10 am to 3 pm. First, the FAST run, an event for primary school pupils, will start. The name FAST run is derived from the so-called FAST method, which helps lay people to remember the symptoms of CMP. (F-face/face, drooping of one corner and eyelid, A-arm/arm, unable to keep both arms at the same height in the forearm, S-speech/speech, confused, incomprehensible answers to simple questions or difficulty in understanding them, T-time/time, if even one symptom is noticed, the emergency services should be called immediately, number 155).

Children demonstrate this knowledge during the race. “This is a completely unique opportunity to learn how to respond to an acute illness in the field. Racers will pass through five stations on the track where they must help a person with a specific health problem, such as a stroke, in simulated situations. This is the fourth time we have organised the event and the children agree in their feedback that it is an experience of a lifetime,” says Hana Maršálková, the organiser of the event and head of the Public Health Group at FNUSA-ICRC.

The partners of the FAST run are the Záchranka App and the Brno Observatory and Planetarium. Musically, the event, which is held under the auspices of the Mayor of the Statutory City of Brno Markéta Vaňková and the Municipal District of Brno-Centre, will be accompanied by the band Čohanas and the main star, Brno rapper MC Gey, who will present the theme song of the whole day called Corner of the mouth, in which he raps about the symptoms of CMP. “The brain can’t go in a clogged artery, it’s good to know what, when the stroke knocks, three main symptoms, so let’s check them out,” are the opening words of the song, whose title is derived from the droopy corner of the mouth that is one of the symptoms of CMP. “When we were thinking about how to raise awareness about stroke in our Saste Roma project, which is aimed at preventing serious illnesses in excluded localities, we decided on a rap song to bring the subject to young people. The younger generation is often the one who calls their parents and grandparents to the ambulance when they have a stroke,” adds Hana Maršálková, head of the Public Health Group at FNUSA-ICRC.

Dedication

On Wednesday, 11 May, the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports announced the results of the public competition of the EXCELES programme. This is a call launched within the framework of the National Recovery Plan (NPO) with the aim of creating a National Institute for Neurological Research (NINR). The project will be launched in July, will run for three and a half years and involves the collaboration of eleven institutions from across the country. The main beneficiary and coordinator is St. Anne’s University Hospital in Brno. The total subsidy received is almost CZK 590 million.

The public competition in the Programme for Supporting Excellent Research in Priority Areas of Public Interest in Health Care – EXCELES was one of the first calls announced under the National Recovery Plan. These were announced in several areas, for example, focusing on oncology, metabolic-cardiology, virology, etc. “FNUSA and the Faculty of Medicine of Masaryk University entered the project together, based on their close cooperation. The fact that we are the coordinator of the project is a prestigious matter,” said Professor Milan Brázdil, Head of the First Neurological Clinic of FNUSA and the Medical Faculty of Masaryk University. In addition to the Brno platform, the other main institutions are the first and second Faculty of Medicine of Charles University, and other institutions are also involved, including the Academy of Sciences or the Czech Technical University and the University of Technology.

The central aim of the project is to connect excellent research teams with similar focuses, especially across universities and academies of science, to make the most of their unique expertise, to support the efficient use of existing cohorts and already acquired data, and to enable specialised research laboratories to carry out data evaluation so that work is concentrated in these central laboratories and not carried out in multiple locations at once.

This goal requires the establishment of a new national authority, the National Institute for Neurological Research (NINR), whose primary mission will be to systematically seek out breakthroughs in brain and nervous system knowledge with the goal of using them programmatically to reduce the burden of neurological disease and improve the quality of life of the affected population. The research will mainly focus on neurodegenerative diseases, i.e. for example Parkinson’s disease and dementia, and partly on COVID-19 and its impact on neurodegeneration.

The tasks of the NINR within this project will rest on three pillars of research looking at the issue of neurodegeneration from three different aspects – movement control disorders, cognitive disorders and neurodevelopmental disorders. “And it is not only about closer cooperation between the participating institutions, the project also includes student mobility, establishing greater cooperation with foreign countries, attracting foreign students and internationalising our scientific institutions,” emphasised FNUSA-ICRC Director Prof. Irena Rektorová.

 

 

 

Supported by Project No. LX22NPO5107 from the National Recovery Plan (MEYS).

 

On Tuesday, 26 April 2022, in the presence of the Director of St. Anne’s University Hospital in Brno Ing. Vlastimil Vajdák, Dean of the Faculty of Science of MU prof. Mgr. Tomáš Kašparovský, Ph.D. and the Director of the International Clinical Research Centre of the St. Anne’s University Hospital in Brno (FNUSA-ICRC) prof. MUDr. Irena Rektorová, Ph.D. signed the Agreement on Cooperation between the Faculty of Science of MU and FNUSA-ICRC.

After the signing of the agreement with the Medical Faculty of MU, this is another step towards strengthening the cooperation between St. Anne’s University Hospital in Brno and Masaryk University in the field of research. “Cooperation with Masaryk University has long been one of my priorities. It is not just about formalizing mutual relations, but actually making long-term cooperation more effective,” said Vlastimil Vajdák, director of the hospital.

The subject of the agreement is to regulate the conditions of cooperation in the implementation of scientific research activities by joint research groups of FNUSA and the Faculty of Medicine of Masaryk University, as well as research groups that will be established in the future. “I am very pleased that after long but constructive negotiations we have managed to reach an agreement that is beneficial for both parties,” said the Dean of the Faculty of Science, Tomáš Kašparovský. “Among other things, we have agreed with the director that our graduates of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and Genetics could obtain interesting job offers within the framework of cooperation with the hospital.”

Professor Rektorová adds: “I am very happy for the formalisation of the relationship, and the agreement also declares the joint entry of both institutions into major strategic projects. Another common interest is the participation of motivated FNUSA-ICRC scientists in undergraduate or postgraduate teaching at the MU Faculty of Science; teaching positions are competed through a selection procedure.”

There are several joint teams of MU Faculty of Science and FNUSA-ICRC. These include Prof. Jiří Damborský’s Protein Engineering research group, which operates within the Loschmidt Laboratories of Faculty of Science MU, RECETOX and FNUSA-ICRC. Furthermore, the Medicinal Chemistry group of doc. Kamil Paruch and the Laboratory Oncology Translational Research group of RNDr. Jan Škoda.

 

Agreement signature

Agreement signature